The Ashmolean Natural History Society of Oxfordshire (ANHSO) is the oldest Natural History Society in England. It was established as the Ashmolean Society in 1828 and was merged with the Oxfordshire Natural History Society by George Claridge Druce in 1901.

Ruskin Reserve. Photo by Judy Webb

Cothill Fen NNR with a view of the Ruskin Reserve. One of the first-ever nature reserves, the Ruskin Reserve was bought for the Society by Henry Willett, through the mediation of George Claridge Druce. Druce was an officer of the Society for 52 years from 1880 to 1932.Go to Fritillary Extra to see more information about Druce and the early years of the Society.


The Society is governed by its rules.

The Library

Sadly, the Society’s library no longer exists. Read why at Library.

How to join

If you wish to join the Ashmolean Natural History Society of Oxfordshire or one of its subgroups, please complete the Membership Application Form and return it.


The Society also works in partnership with many other natural history and environmental groups, for example collaborating in the organisation of events. It was instrumental in setting up the Conservation and Recording Days which are now mainly run by the Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre and Wild Oxfordshire.

We work in partnership with many other organisations, notably BBOWT in the publication of Fritillary and also in the organisation of the annual Warburg lecture.

We hold joint events with the Oxford Ornithological Society, and the Oxford Urban Wildlife Group

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